about launch okanagan
what we do
Launch Okanagan helps people move forward in life by providing them with the financial knowledge and community support to take the next step towards greater independence and sustainable positive change. Our programs increase participants’ understanding of their personal finances while also helping them to build confidence, financial security and ultimately hope for the future.By providing people with financial education, mentorship and collaboration we aim to strengthen the independence and resiliency of our participants.
Living pay cheque to pay cheque is hard on people and their families. Getting out of that cycle and creating strong money management habits is even harder. That’s why Launch Okanagan specifically designs its programs to be inclusive, encouraging and supportive.
Whether you’re a single parent, a struggling family or someone wanting to go back to school, everyone can benefit from better understanding their money and how to budget for a brighter future.
For the first time, I feel in control of my money and am excited to be saving and thinking about the future rather than dreading it! I would HIGHLY recommend for anyone feeling unsure and unstable about money and finances to partake in this series. It was really informative, practical and has left me feeling a lot more confident and knowledgeable concerning banking, saving, financial matters and my future. The Dollars and Sense program is a life changer!
Like most good ideas, Launch Okanagan was birthed over a coffee and a serious conversation between great friends and co-founders Michael Wendland, a local entrepreneur and Metro Community’s lead Pastor, Laurence East.
For Michael, a successful business owner who was passionate about the needs of the vulnerable and the importance of giving back, the question was simple: “How do I add value and help change lives? I’m not sure I have that much in common with a man or woman in a shelter or experiencing homelessness.”
Laurence, who worked daily to restore dignity and hope for the marginalized and vulnerable, responded: “Let’s take what you’re passionate about and use it to bring change and affect lives.”
In Fall 2011 Launch Kelowna was formed and the first matched savings programs were established along with delivery of a licensed curriculum so desperately needed in the community. In 2021, after the advent of online learning, Launch Kelowna expanded and rebranded to Launch Okanagan enabling the programs to include participants up and down the valley and beyond.
Both Laurence and Michael remain deeply involved in the work of Launch Okanagan and are proud to be part of this not-for-profit.
Michael Wendland and Laurence East
Launch Okanagan Founders